My Boyfriend Wears Prada

And, frankly, I don’t know how to feel about it.

On one hand, it makes me nervous. I mean, clearly he comes from a very well-off family like he says, but… I have so many issues with spending that much money on clothes. Big expenditures to me are gaming systems and tablets and stuff like that. Not one shirt for $300. Granted, he looks absolutely gorgeous in it, but that’s not the point.

On the other hand, I have this strange feeling that I don’t know how to identify. It’s like I’m glad because, if everything works out between the two of us, and I really do think it will, I won’t have to be scared of how I’d live. I wouldn’t have to be afraid that we don’t know if we’re going to make it to the end of the month or we can’t provide for the family we plan to have in the (far) future. And that’s been a very massive fear for me when it comes to having kids. I know what it’s like to go without, to have to find ways to help out, to be the adult. It is such a huge relief to know that I won’t have to struggle for years to put together enough money to comfortably raise a child.

But it still bothers me every time I see that shirt in our closet.

Past That

There comes a point in a relationship where the giddy wears off. You’re no longer bouncing up and down in your seat just because he replied to your text. Holding his hand while walking or being just plain being together feels so natural you might as well have grown up with him.

In the past, for me, that’s where relationships ended. I was looking for a lasting giddy feeling, someone to make me constantly feel like I was losing my mind because they were just so amazing. I didn’t know what a long-term relationship was supposed to feel like. I didn’t realize that what I really wanted was someone to feel like family.

But I’m past that now.

I’m not saying we’re that level of serious to where being family has been discussed. By no means are we at that point. I’m just saying that I’ve finally realized that is what I want. I want someone that I can hold at the end of the day as a lover, a best friend, and a family member. I actually want that feeling.

You want to know the amazing part?

This is the closest I’ve ever come to that feeling.

Untitled

I don’t know where I’m going with this. Part of it’s venting, part of it’s just an exercise. I haven’t written anything in a while and this seemed like a good place to pick up again. Besides, I think this might have some promise.

 

Sitting back in her tiny office chair, she wondered how long it would be before he realized he wasn’t truly in love with her. She knew somewhere, in her heart, maybe, that her smile and sad eyes could never mean what a relationship based on friendship would.

Every time she saw the two of them together, she couldn’t help but shrink back and shy away from even polite conversation. After all, he was the popular one, the guy that might piss everyone off, but they all still loved him and the other girl was pretty and thin and social. Everything that he could possibly need.

She knew she was far too broken to mean anything to him. She knew the sudden tears for no reason, the ongoing battle with depression would drive him away. Yet, when they first got together, she’d let herself believe that maybe he’d be the one to stand beside her and drive the darkness away. Foolishly, she’d let herself believe that even she deserved happiness with someone.

The computer screen in front of her taunted her, the spreadsheet she’d pulled up hours ago still blank. She hadn’t even gotten around to formatting it for the data that needed to be entered in. The fact that her personal life was distracting her from work only pulled her down deeper into the growing pit of despair.

It seemed unending, the way her heart would just suddenly break and her world came crashing down. It seemed so unfair that her happiness was so fragile. How could it be that she found happiness to be such a struggle when it came so easily to the rest of the world? She wondered how long it would be before she caved in and went to see a doctor about her depression. It was her own stubborn nature that kept her from going in the first place. To her, seeking help and taking pills to be happy were forms of cheating. In her eyes, if she was meant to be melancholy, she would bear it with pride. She wouldn’t surrender what emotions were rightfully hers just because they were too heavy a burden. She would rather break into a million pieces than lose the pain that had become so familiar to her.

Tapping her fingers on the keyboard rhythmically, she tried to think of things to take her mind off her pain. She tried thinking about the orders she had to place, the repair parts that were scheduled to come in that afternoon, or even the mess waiting for her in her apartment. She had been so stressed that she hadn’t been able to do laundry all week and hadn’t taken out the trash at all. Take-out boxes covered her table and half-emptied soda cans sat around her desk where she’d tried in vain all night to boost her word count. But, lately, even her characters couldn’t help her through the pain. Every time she tried to make some progress, her characters seemed as dull and lifeless as she felt.

It felt as though nothing was going right.

Then, one morning, when she climbed out of bed, still blinking and rubbing her eyes, she noticed something that wasn’t there before. A single miniature sunflower sitting in a mason jar of water. Stretching, she tried to think of how it could have gotten there. Had someone visited her in the middle of the night without her knowing? Or had it been there the whole time and she simply hadn’t noticed before? Whatever the case, she bumbled closer to take a look at it. Beside the jar was a small piece of notebook paper that read,

“I am just two and two

I am warm, I am cold

I am lawful, unlawful

A duty, a fault

I am often sold dear

Good for nothing when bought

An extraordinary boon

And a matter of course

And yielding with pleasure

When taken by force.”

Puzzled, she read the little slip of paper over and over again. It seemed so strange that someone would leave such a challenging little riddle for her in her bedroom. Aside from the note, there was also the question of how someone would even get into her room in the first place. She kept her apartment locked and no one else had the key.

Immediately, she began checking her room for signs that someone had broken in. It frightened her that someone could get in without her knowing, while she was asleep. Though, when she finally paused to think about it, nothing valuable was missing and the only thing that had been changed was the note and sunflower.

Still, it sent shivers down her spine to think that someone had been there when she was her most vulnerable.

Regardless, she decided to get dressed and head to work. For a moment, she thought of calling the police, but, when she stopped to think about it, filing a complaint that someone had put a sunflower and a riddle in her room seemed a bit ridiculous. She slipped on a pair of pale blue slacks and a pastel yellow blouse that cinched around her waist and checked her reflection in the mirror. When she was satisfied with her appearance, she slipped the sheet of paper into her purse and walked out the front door, checking at least three times before she was satisfied that the door was actually locked.

At work, the computer monitor taunted her once more. This time, however, her mind wasn’t on the vast number of problems that typically bogged her down. Instead, she was trying to solve the puzzle that had been mysteriously placed in her room. She loved a good puzzle as much as the next person, but everything she came up with seemed off.

Before she knew it, the day was over and she was still no closer to solving the puzzle. Sighing in defeat, she slipped the paper back into her purse and grabbed her phone to call a taxi. After unlocking it, she found that she had several missed text messages, all from her boyfriend. Part of her jumped for joy inside to hear from him, excited to be able to simply hear from him. The other part, however, ached because she had a gut feeling the messages were telling her he wouldn’t be able to come over because his other friend, the cute, slim-framed girl, had asked him to go hang out with her.

Opening her inbox, she found that her fears hadn’t been unfounded. He said that he wouldn’t be able to come over right away, that something had come up with his friend and she needed someone there with her. Though it stung to read (over and over again), she texted back that she understood and to let her know if he was going to be coming over later. She hoped it wouldn’t come across as her wanting him to choose between them because it wouldn’t be fair of her to ask, but, secretly, she did wish he knew just how much it hurt her to see him so happy with another woman.

She sighed once more and started back home. The taxi wasn’t a good idea, after all. She needed time to clear her head. Time and her headphones blaring an eclectic mix of rock, pop, indie, dubstep, and J-pop. The music consumed her as she walked home and, though she hadn’t completely forgotten her heartache, it had faded into a dull background pain, like being sore after a good workout.

When she settled into her room, she noticed something peculiar once more. The mason jar now had two sunflowers and another tiny piece of notebook paper. This time, it simply read, “Open the door.”

Curious, but frightened, she crept to the door and slowly opened it. There at the door was her boyfriend, holding a single sunflower in his hand and smiling warmly. Her heart pounded, both from confusion and happiness at having him come home sooner than expected. She embraced him tightly, however, and tried for that one moment to forget that she was still emotionally bereft.

“I’m sorry,” he said, when she finally let go. “I didn’t realize just how much I’d hurt you by being with her. I just wanted to make sure she was ok, you know?”

Her lip quivered and her heart felt like it was going to leap out of her throat and run away forever. She couldn’t stop the tears that were coming and knew she was going to say something she’d regret.

“I-I’m the one who should be apologizing,” she replied. “I shouldn’t be so upset, but I am. And I’ve made you feel bad even though you’ve done nothing wrong. I just sometimes feel like you’d be happier with her. I mean, you hang out with her all the time and everything about you two says that you’re dating. It doesn’t feel like we’re in a relationship at all! And I know that we have to keep it quiet for now. I know there’s no avoiding having to keep it a secret. But I just wish it felt like I was the one you wanted to be around, not her.”

Her boyfriend remained silent for a while and she felt her heart break even more. How could he hear her say those things and say nothing? Did that mean he had no intention of even acknowledging her feelings? Why wouldn’t he say anything?

“Did you figure out the answer?” he asked quietly. She shook her head, somewhat outraged that he thought a puzzle was more important than the problem they were facing. “Did you even try?”

“Of course I did!” she answered bitterly. “I sat at my computer all day trying to figure it out.”

Just then, he placed a hand on her shoulder and gently kissed her cheek. She tensed, thinking he was trying to seduce her to make her forget about the other woman.

“What was that all about?” she asked and he smiled.

“The answer.”

“A kiss? What does that have to do with anything?”

“I know you’ve been worried. You think I don’t see you hurting when the three of us hang out, but I do. I left that riddle because I know how much you love a puzzle and because I know how smart you are. I thought you would figure it out.” He sighed. “I left that riddle hoping you would realize it was from me. Because you’re the only woman I want to kiss. You’re the only one I want to hold at night. And, most of all, I want you to know that I’m here for you even when you don’t see me. Just because I feel responsible for someone else doesn’t mean I love you any less.”

Martyrdom Pains

I have no idea how much of this is that I simply want to suffer to see others happy and how much is that things really ought to be that way, but…

I’m scared the person I’m seeing would be happier with someone else. He’d never say it. And he often tells me it’s the exact opposite, but, every time I see them together, I feel like that’s how things ought to be. I see them together and I see a happy couple. His family thinks they’re together. They don’t have to hide when they go out. And there are just so many times that I wish I’d just kept my mouth shut and let him think I wasn’t interested at all. There are too many times where I wonder just how much happiness I’m allowed before things go horribly wrong.

Because they always do. Things never end well for me. Never.

God, why am I so damn scared? I don’t want to lose him. I know I’m not, but everything they do together screams “couple.” I am so terrified that I’m never going to be able to be what I’m supposed to be in a relationship. I’m scared that I’m doing everything wrong and that, by admitting that I love him, I’ve doomed it all. I’m scared, guys, really, scared. This isn’t even going on Facebook because I’m scared she’d see it and know.

You know what the worst part is? I like her. I like her a lot. She’s fun and silly and…. completely oblivious to the pain I go through watching her slowly realize that she likes him like that. And watching him take care of her, go do the things that a boyfriend and girlfriend should be able to do together, it’s… it’s ripping me apart. Every time I see the two of them when we’re hanging out, it’s like, I want to be affectionate and to know that he’s still there for me, but, instead, I hear the two of them and how much they have in common and how he loves to pick on her about silly things and how much she likes that he’s always there and…

Dammit, this is why I knew I should’ve just kept to myself. This is why I swore off relationships. They’re too painful, too risky. If you open up your heart to someone, there’s a greater chance it’s going to get ripped to shreds. I was better off alone.

Or maybe I’m just going through some shit. I don’t know. All I know is, this hurts and I needed somewhere to vent. I seriously hope this isn’t too much to be sharing with everyone… I just don’t know what to do right now and I’m terrified that I’m going to be the third wheel when I’m around them. I mean, that’s how it feels right now. That’s honestly how it feels and I can’t do it anymore.

Maybe I should just stop before I break myself too much more. Love shouldn’t be like this…

Thank You~!

Somehow, while I was away, I managed to get to 100 total likes on my posts! When I first saw it, I couldn’t believe it. I mean, me? With that many likes? Naw… It couldn’t be, right?

But all of you who’ve been following my ramblings, listening to me talk about all sorts of nonsense, you’re the ones who’ve got me to this point. Thank you so much! It makes me feel much better just knowing there are people out there listening to what I have to say, you know? Do you ever get that way, too?

Alrighty, so, here’s my update for the weekend. I’ve pretty much moved in with my “boyfriend” (he apparently dislikes being labeled as such, but more because he hates labeling people in general). We just got a new TV (which is awesome, by the way) and a PS3 with a handful of new games plus what he has on his account. It’s been fun, especially because I surprised him (and I use the term very loosely) with the new Tomb Raider game, which he’s been playing almost nonstop since we got everything set up last night. I got a new RPG, Atelier Ayesha, which has been interesting. And, by interesting, I mean there are irritating voices and a very slow beginning.

The only problem with my moving in has been that we do have to spend time apart during the week. It’s only because there’s a level of professionalism we need to keep at work and, more importantly, transportation issues. Neither of us has a car right now and taxis get expensive after a while, so we’ve been restricted to walking, hitching a ride with other people on the ship, or giving in and getting a cab. I try not to go for taxis as much as possible, mostly because I just don’t like to rely on them after one left me hanging all morning (did you know there are people who STILL don’t own cell phones? #FirstWorldProblems)

Well, now that I think about it, I guess it really isn’t a problem. I just have to learn how to deal with it and use me time again. Which is weird because we pretty much smothered each other in the beginning. I don’t know how many other couples do that and, frankly, I don’t really care. I just want this to work. Which, for me, means I need to have time to devote to my physical fitness (the PRT- physical readiness test- is just around the corner), studying for ESWS (Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist), and just taking care of myself as a person.

It’s weird, but I’m starting to see myself as someone of worth. Is it through the number of likes I’ve gotten here? Partially. But I think it’s more the way I’ve been able to rationally organize my thoughts here while still keeping myself true to what I’m feeling. It’s making me a better person, being able to both recognize and categorize my emotions without cheapening them or pretending they’re something they’re not. There’s something truly liberating about being this way and I don’t plan to stop here. This is just the beginning.

I’m going to keep writing, keep drawing, keep thinking, and start doing. And I hope to keep seeing you along the way~! <3

On Friendship

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Typically for me, that means the smoke detectors are going off and I should stop, drop, and roll, but, this time, I’ve managed to bypass that bit.

I have a lot of friends. Most of them aren’t near me and that makes living a normal life difficult. But there are some things about friendship that I’ve realized and I thought it might behoove me to share. Because sharing is caring, right?

So, first on the list.

Being friends doesn’t mean you trust them with everything.

I have a great number of friends that I simply cannot tell everything to. They’re gossipers and, while I understand and accept this about them, I don’t like personal things being spread around. I know lots of people who seem to think that being friends means that you trust them and can open up and tell them everything and, for a while, I thought that was true.

But I’ve realized, through a friend of mine that I’ve found I can’t trust, that I can still be friends with a person like that. I could never tell her about who I’m seeing or how I feel about someone else without her telling the world about it. But, and this might just be that I’m naive and don’t know any better, but I still like her as a person. She’s fun to be around and I care about her and her family.

Friends may come and go, but that’s no reason to stop trying to make new ones.

This has been a toughie for me and it still is. I’m in a highly transient job, being in the Navy and all. I move a lot. And I made friends a while back in Great Lakes, IL, friends that I wish I could still see because we were always able to have such wonderful fun together. But, when I transferred and they ended up on other sides of the world, I felt like there was little point in trying to make friends because they’d end up leaving or I would. And making friends just to lose them was about as appealing as sticking my head in a heated oven and slamming the door shut.

But, lately, I’ve begun to see that it’s not about that at all. Just because we don’t see each other doesn’t mean we’re not friends anymore. Just because they have other friends doesn’t mean I mean any less to them. If we aren’t always together, that’s fine. Best friends forever doesn’t have to apply to every single friendship.

 

I swear, I thought I had more to it than this. Maybe it’s just because they’re both very BIG realizations…

What Really Helps

It’s not some motivational book sitting on the shelf at the grocery store, looking like the title alone has you figured out. It’s not a handful of inspiring quotes sitting around on your walls to remind you that you’re a wonderful person.

And it is most definitely not someone holding your hand and telling you everything will be all right.

What really helps you become a better you is time. Time and a genuine desire to be better. It’s how you react to the world around you. It’s knowing that your reactions aren’t good or bad, that there is no single action that is supremely evil or inherently good. But there are actions that are who you are and actions that are who you aren’t.

The problem with all these self-help books (and I’m not by any means bashing them – there are some really good tips in some of them) is that they generalize. They don’t know who you are. They can’t tell you exactly how to let go of your past and embrace who you are. Only you can tell yourself how to be yourself.

So, how do you do that when you’re feeling completely lost and confused? How can you get help from yourself when you don’t really even know who you are?

I don’t know. I really don’t know. I haven’t figured it out yet. But, as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

Maybe the best way to help yourself be a better you is to just keep going. Make decisions, take risks, and put yourself first. Sacrifice for the greater good may be necessary sometimes, but it should never be the first thing you do.